Excellent translation of board game, but one player only.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There are many tutorial pages that show the user how to play the game. The interface is decent, but it's sometimes easy to hit the wrong button and confirm a building while trying to scroll. Also, during trading the map cannot be seen. Some of the alternate maps are not explained in detail.


Two of the character portraits have weapons -- one character is holding an ax, and another has a sword strapped to her back. But these are static images and there is no actual violence in the game itself.

Not applicable
Not applicable

An expansion pack can be purchased in-app, but the basic game can be played without it.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Catan is a single-player translation of the Settlers of Catan board game. The app has many tutorials, but the game may be easiest to play for those who have already played the board game. The interface is tricky in areas, particularly with a small screen. The game requires some understanding of economics and logic. A couple of weapons are pictured (an ax and a sword), but there's no violence in the game. A version called Catan HD is available for the iPad.

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Is it any good?


CATAN is a translation of the popular Settlers of Catan board game, and the app is very well done. The map has the appearance of the board game, and there are many short tutorial pages to teach the game. The game involves collecting resources, trading with the other players, and then building roads and settlements to collect points. Catan comes with the basic game but also adds a few variants that change the game rules slightly; there's a basic Seafarers component as well for building boats across the water.

The app can be finicky; sometimes the controls don't respond perfectly, and it's easy to hit the "confirm" button while trying to pan around the map, resulting in a misplaced build. Also, the game has no multiplayer mode, so it's strictly solitaire. However, for those who enjoy the board game, the app is an excellent rendition that adds to the experience.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Release date:February 1, 2011
Category:Board Games
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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